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CBC Manitoba: Winnipeg’s code red restrictions can bring pandemic fatigue — here’s how to cope

November 2, 2020 — 

As reported on CBC Manitoba, Dr. Andrea Piotrowski and Dr. Renee El-Gabalawy give advice on how to cope with more restrictions. Both are clinical psychologists with Shared Health and El-Gabalawy is also an assistant professor at the University of Manitoba’s department of clinical psychology and anesthesiology.

With code red restrictions in effect Monday in Winnipeg, some in the city might be feeling frustrated, anxious and isolated as they brace for tougher measures and as more businesses shut down for the next two weeks.

On Oct. 30, Manitoba public health officials announced that Winnipeg and surrounding areas would enter the highest level — red, or critical — on the province’s pandemic response system starting Monday, as a record-breaking 480 new cases of COVID-19 were announced.

“Unfortunately for others, this may result in elevated mental health systems due to further financial concerns, longer work hours and stress at work, particularly for our front-line workers, elevated isolation and increased difficulty managing health conditions,” El-Gabalawy said.

El-Gabalawy said people are losing their regular routine, daily activities and social interactions, so coming up with creative solutions to stay healthy and find support is key.

Piotrowski and El-Gabalawy said an effective way to cope with the pandemic and further restrictive measures is to build a routine with healthy habits — with regular exercise, an active lifestyle and a balanced diet.

Both psychologists also recommend maintaining social connections and remaining positive. Read the full list of recommendations in the full story.

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